Archive for March, 2009

Mar 31 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Pre-First Grade!

  • Write full name and phone number
  • Know upper and lower case in/out of sequence
  • Know colors and shapes
  • Know numbers 1-50
  • Count to 100
  • Recognize patterns
  • Skip count by 5’s and 10’s to 100
  • Know money and value
  • Read basic sentences
  • Know days of the week and months of the year
  • Understand weather concepts
  • Know letter sounds

14 responses so far

Mar 30 2009

Let’s Get Ready For a guest post by JacketFlap’s Tracy Grand!

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I am a member of the author social networking site:  JacketFlap!  Come find me I am StaceyKann on JacketFlap and Twitter!

From Tracy Grand:

The nominees for the 2009 Children’s Choice Book Awards were recently announced. I’m excited to say that books illustrated by three of JacketFlap’s members are among the nominees! Please join me in congratulating the three nominees by clicking their names below and leaving a congratulations comment on their profiles:

Willow, illustrated by Cyd Moore

Sort it Out!, illustrated by Sherry Rogers

Those Darn Squirrels!, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Voting for the finalists is now open. Children and teens are able to cast their vote for their favorite books, author, and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, and online until Sunday, May 3, 2009. Close to 15,000 children and teens from around the US spent months reading and evaluating books submitted by publishers. The five favorite books published in 2008 in each of these categories are open for a nation-wide vote in March and April 2009 in each of four grade categories: K-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, and Teen as well as Favorite Author, and Favorite Illustrator. The winner in each category will be named at a gala during Children’s Book Week on May 12th, 2009 in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 11-17, 2009), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.

To enhance the awareness of the awards, the Children’s Book Council is working with JacketFlap again this year to create a Children’s Choice Book Awards Widget, which displays a different finalist book every time it loads on a web site or blog. You can get the Widget for your own blog or web site at:

Please spread the word to children so they can vote. Remember, voting ends May 3, 2009!

Tracy Grand

145 responses so far

Mar 27 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Become an Entrepreneur!!

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Mike Michalowicz is the Author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and his site and blog has me ROLLING (pun intended) with giddiness.   Where to start with a title like that?!!

Some days, Alice!

Recently, Mike asked for submissions from his audience on tips and suggestions about how to become an entrepreneur.  I was tickled with some quilted goodness (I couldn’t resist!) when he used one of my tips in this super post: (see mine at #130).

If you *really* want to be your own boss, Mike’s site and blog are MUST READS!

15 responses so far

Mar 26 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Pink Ladders

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Thank you all for visiting and contributing to Pink Ladders.

Each month excerpts of stories about successful women climbing their career ladders in corporations or owning their own businesses are listed in the Of the Essence section of the website under “Your Story”.  I’m confident you will find them to be inspiring to say the least. These women have and continue to accomplish so much not only in their careers but for their communities and families.

March 2009 Stories

I would like to thank all of these women for submitting their personal stories.

Brooke Kelley’s StoryPink
Climbing the ladder of success must involve living by the principal of being good to one another.

Elizabeth Sobol’s StoryPink
She climbed her career ladder from Intern to Managing Director working for an arts management company.

Jaime Geffen’s StoryPink
It’s party time! That’s what Jaime and YourBASH! is all about.

Michelle Dunn’s StoryPink
Working as an accounts receivable clerk to starting her own collections company and authoring books!

Nicole DeBoom’s Story – Pink
Ever wonder where those stylish running skirts came from? That would be Nicole.

Susan Lee-Titus’s StoryPink
Raped, beaten and held hostage at gunpoint – Susan now has a prison outreach, The Joy Dancers.

New Website Feature

There is a new feature on the site this month in the Links and Things section.

This section features “Women of Pink Ladders” businesses, books and websites categorized in five general categories:

  • Authors
  • Business
  • Networking Sites
  • Products
  • Professional Services

If anyone is in need of the services or books offered – please support these women by checking out their websites.

New Articles in Career Section

Check out the new articles in the Career Section.

14 responses so far

Mar 24 2009

“Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!” Review from Guest Reviewer, Mama Snow

I have been reviewing an amazing book used to prepare children for kindergarten and first grade. Every parent wants their child to excel in their education. When your child gets ready to enter kindergarten you want them to be ready. I have this same hope for my own little ones and I want to make sure I do what I can as a mother to prepare them.

While pregnant with my first I worked as a Teacher’s Aide in kindergarten. I noticed that no matter how wonderful the teacher was, if the parents didn’t do their part to teach their child at home then the child would begin to fall behind the other students. I didn’t want that to happen with my own children. Now that my oldest is four I have been trying to find the appropriate approach in helping my son. This has has been a harder task then I thought.

“Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten” and “Let’s Get Ready For First Grade” has really helped direct me to the best teaching method. One of our struggles has been spelling his name correctly. He knows which letters to use, but didn’t seem the know the difference between upper and lower case. He also has struggled getting the letters in the right order. Some of the first pages included a list of all upper and lower case letters. This has really helped my son differentiate between the two. The next page had all the letters mixed up. This gave my son the chance to search for the letters he needed. He is a lot more familiar with the upper and lower case letters. He can even spell his name in order out load without mixing up the letters. I give much credit to “Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten”. My son is recognizing numbers and now working on days of the week. He loves his book and the activities. “Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten” is great for all types of learners and each page is made so that you can use dry-erase markers on them. Allowing your child to use a more hands on approach for learning. “Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten” and “Let’s Get Ready For First Grade” is also available in an english and spanish version.

Stacey Kannenberg is the author of these wonderful books. I highly recommend this wonderful book. You can find “Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten/First Grade” at or at Amazon (and other select booksellers nationwide).

Posted with permission from Mama Snow:

One response so far

Mar 23 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!

Here are the 7 things kids will be tested on in their first Kindergarten assessment test:

  1. Know the uppercase alphabet and name the letters out of sequence or mixed up, such as: B, D, X, K, J, M, O, etc.
  2. Know the numbers to 0-10 and identify the numbers out of sequence or mixed up, such as: 2, 5, 9, 8, 1, 3, 4, etc.
  3. Identify basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  4. Identify basic shapes: circle, diamond, rectangle, triangle, oval, and square.
  5. Identify basic coins: penny, nickel, and dime.
  6. Count objects to 10.
  7. Show how far they can count toward 100.

Make learning this fun!!! Practice this information when driving with your child, searching for shapes, colors and letters to make learning interactive.  Counting is a great activity for bath time.  Shopping with your child is a great time to practice coins.  Empower your child to get ready for Kindergarten!

Some more tips to help include these seven things in your daily living with your youngsters:

  • Pick out shapes, one a day, in a room.  First, print a circle and hang it up in that room and then all day, find that shape in the room and make a list.  Go slow to begin with, perhaps one shape a week.
  • For the grocery store, give each child their own list (around ages 3-5), that they had to pick out themselves, find the price and write it down on their list paper.  If we just had a few things to buy, one child would stand up by the register and read the price of the item as it was scanned – sometimes, the checker even let the kids scan the items themselves!
  • For ABC letters, use the newspapers – a different letter each day.  By dinner, the kids must choose one page and circle all of that letter (upper- and lower-case letters being separate).
  • Kids count change each day when hubby comes home from work – one child counts per day and then have them put the money in a bank that has separate slots for each coin.
  • For colors, take the kids to a fabric shop.  Tell them the colors you are looking for, for a project, and have them go find what they like and talk about the colors and selection options.

1,056 responses so far

Mar 20 2009

Let’s Get Ready for the Mom Song!


123 responses so far

Mar 19 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Hear from a Frustrated Parent

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I stumbled across this blog post and posted a comment on her blog – she read my blog last week about education but only wanted to post without sharing her name.  She gave me permission to repost her blog post from last week as long as we don’t reveal who she is …

At the beginning of the year I was sent a letter saying that my first grader needed special reading and after contacting the special reading teacher and asking a few questions I agreed to it. I wanted to know how they tested, why they felt like he needed it, when he was pulled out of class what he would be missing during that time in regular class? My feeling is that any parent should be asking these questions if they get this kind of letter.

The kindergarten, first, and second grades only get report cards three times a year. Once in November right before Thanksgiving, in March (yesterday), and then the last day of school. In November for the first report card you have a mandatory conference so the teacher can discuss where your child it at and what will be expected the rest of the year. If there are areas that your child needs to work on and how to improve his/her skills. When I went to this meeting we went over everything and was told he is at or above a first grade level in everything. I have this check list of things to be worked on but there isn’t anything that he needs to improve on at the time. He is doing great. I asked does this also include reading? Yes, he is at level or above it. He is doing well. So I asked then why is he is special reading? Good question I will talk to the special reading teacher and get back with you. I didn’t hear anything! I would ask and get with the holidays we have been busy but just as soon as I can set up a meeting with his special reading teacher I will. This went on and on from November until the middle of February when I finally got a conference with both teachers. I was then told….. we have been struggling for the past few weeks on sending home a retaining letter because he reading is so bad. Since November his skills have come to a stand still and he is only on a level 8 and needs to be on a level 16 by the end of the year. I asked… is he comprehending what he reads? Yes. Okay then what is the problem? He reads choppy and without expression. So you are recommending to fail a child in February for reading choppy and without expression when he can comprehends what he reads. We decided to wait a couple weeks before we make our decision. I tested him last week on his reading and his word list he is only on a level 8 and he ONLY knows 45 words. And his regular teacher said he also has a problem working independently he is always raising his hand for help. Then I asked why didn’t you notify me when he started having problems? Oh we discuss his progress everyday. Okay let me ask again why didn’t you notify me when you started noticing a problem so we the parents would be aware of it and to also discuss with us on ways to help him instead of waiting? I then heard these words come out of his special reading teachers mouth…….. I have never had the feeling you were on board with his special reading. Oh let me tell you I saw red!!!! I then informed her that before this day I had never met her once that I had talked to her on the phone once with questions as any concerned parent should. That she is the one that has neglected to get back to me with my requests for meetings. I then heard this out of her mouth……. you know you need to set a good example by reading! I said I have read to him since he was an infant and now he reads to me. She said no he needs to see you read and that you enjoy it. Now my temper was out of check and I had to be careful with my words or they would not be lady like. I said you have no idea what I do or don’t do. You have no idea who I am so how can you take it upon yourself to assume something you don’t know anything about. If you would like to go out and look in the front seat of my car you will find a couple of books that I am returning to the library after I leave here. I am also picking up a book that I have requested and had to wait almost 3 months for. If you like you may go to the library and have them pull up how many books I have read since we have lived here the past 7 years. Now that you know that I’m not illiterate and not a moron can we please get back on the topic at hand my son. I want to know how we can help him at home? I then heard……. Well our time is up have a nice day.

I was so mad and ready to rip somebody’s heart out at this point. I knew I needed to calm down before I went any further. I went to the library and then came home still fuming with so much anger. When my first grader got off the bus that afternoon he said on our walk home…. mommy do you want to hear something weird? Yes, please tell me something weird and thinking it would be something that one of his friends had done on the playground. I heard… I went to special reading twice today. You did? Did you go after PE? No, I went before PE. Are you sure isn’t wasn’t after PE? Nope it was before. I was there while he was in PE. What did you do in there this morning? She tested me on my reading and my words. Oh how did you do? She said I did GREAT! My mind was whirling at this point she said she had tested him last week. She lied! BIG MISTAKE! After hubby got home that evening I told him what had happened and what our child had said and he was angry. It’s not often that I see his veins pop out on the side of his neck and his face turn beet red. He said make another meeting because I will be there! I told him that it has taken months to get this one and that I had lost all confidence and faith in his teachers so I was going to request one with the principal present. I sat down that evening and wrote a long letter to the principal explaining why we wanted a meeting. It took three hours to write it because I had to go back and change several times because of my colorful expressions. I finally sent it and after a couple days I got a reply back saying that she had notified the teachers and as soon as they could come up with a day for them that was good that she would let me know. NO! NO! NO! If she thought that time needed to pass for us to calm down she was wrong. I then called the school board and requested to see what a retaining letter was and what was meant by it. She asked why I wanted to know and I explained everything to her. The next day I got a phone call from the school saying a meeting had been set for the next week and that we would have a copy of the retaining letter in the mail before then as I had requested.

The meeting was set for 3 in the afternoon so hubby could attend so I had to get my first grader picked up and told him that we had a meeting but he was to work on some stuff I had ready for him. He sat in the lobby working on the papers I had for him to work independently on his own while we were in the meeting. Both teachers and the principal was there and we started off by going over my letter and everything that concerned us about our child’s education. Now at this meeting the teachers were much nicer. They started off with how he just wasn’t progressing in reading and that they feel that as long as they are communicating with each other that they are doing their jobs. I didn’t hold anything back! I said no you are not doing your jobs when you don’t communicate with the parents. That at this age we should be getting more than 3 reports a year on how they are doing. And if there is a problem they should be contacting us so we can help that leaving a parent out of the loop of things is wrong. During our hour and a half meeting I bought up everything they had said in our first meeting and a couple of times one or the other would start to say a different version and I would speak up with excuse me this is what you said. Several times the principal looked up at them and was waiting for answers. Finally I said you will hear me out and hear what I have to say. You have lied to me! You have lost all my trust! This is what I know of my child because this is what we do at home. I pulled out all the flashcards and said this baggie is the words he knows there are 182 words in there. And this is the bag were are working on at the present. It was a challenge to get him to go over the same old words everyday and he didn’t want to do it so I asked him what would make it more fun for you? This is a must you have to learn these words before the end of the year so how do you want to do it? He said mommy those words are so boring I want to learn and he started naming off all these words and I started writing them down. So I made up flashcards for them all and said you will have so many words that you want to learn and so many from the list for school. We have been doing this for the past couple months and to make sure he knows the word he has to get it right 5 times before it’s pulled out of the pile. The principal was impressed. I then asked how can he only know 45 words when he gets 100’s on his spelling test? His special reading teacher said… I didn’t mean it that way I meant he knew 45 of the 50 words he is required to know for my class. Oh you didn’t say that and made it sound as if he was doing really bad and considering there is still a little over 3 months left for him to learn those 5 words I think he is doing pretty good. I also told them that the amount of homework for my first grader was so overwhelming that he no longer wanted to even open a book to just read for fun. The principal said what do you mean? I said he has spelling, math, and flashcards every night. He also has 4 reading assignments every night. His teacher spoke up and said he does not! I said he has one story that has to be read out of the big reading book you sent home and is kept there until it’s finished. He has the take home book that you send home on Monday and is to be read and evaluated and then again on Tuesday night. It’s sent back to school on Wednesday and another take home book is sent that has to be evaluated on Wednesday and again on Thursday and sent back on Friday. He has a poem that has to be read every night. And he has a book every night from his special reading teacher. There is no break on the weekends he also has required reading on Saturday and Sunday.

At one point in our conference there was a knock on the door and the secretary said she had to leave and what was she to do about the little one out in the lobby? I asked is he still doing his work I had left for him? She said yes. I asked has he asked you for any help? She said no. I said he will be fine just tell him if he has any problems to knock on this door and mommy said to finish up his work. I turned to his teacher and said he is working independently without asking for help and I would appreciate before you leave here that you look over what he is working on.

By the end of the meeting the principal had many good suggestions on how to help our first grader to read with more expression and help him be a more fluent reader. Let me say the teachers never gave one suggestion. I did inform them all that I was to be informed on everything from now on that if they could send me emails about fundraisers every week that they could find time to send me an email on how my child was doing. If they could plaster my child with stickers about fundraisers they could take a minute to write a note and send it home. You see one night during the week if you go to Burger King on that night so much money is donated to the school. On another night during the week it’s Pizza Hut night. And once a month it’s skating night. That I had been lied to and my I didn’t trust them and if I didn’t feel as if they were doing their job with my child or communicating with me that they would be seeing me again and again in the Principal’s office.

Oh let me also tell you that at the first meeting on February 23 he was at a level 8 in reading. The very next day the books he brought home was at a level 10. And yesterday his regular teacher still has him at a level 10 but the special reading teacher has moved him to a 11/12. He also brought home his report card yesterday and it looks really good but his teacher marked NO in the section for is he at first grade reading. But almost everything within the reading section is marked that he is at level or above it and 2 marked sometimes is at level. Those two things are fluency and decoding words. I really can’t wait for the end of the year as I have said I have lost all faith and trust in his teachers. I’m done rambling and ranting about this. But if you have taken the time to read it all Thank You!

13 responses so far

Mar 18 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Mom’s Night Out with Guest Post by Rachel Hamman!

Who needs a break? If you are a Mom, you probably raised both hands at once. That’s why I created a new holiday, for all of us over-worked, underappreciated Moms. “National Mom’s Night Out!” is Thursday, March 19th and it’s a guilt-free excuse for Moms to go have fun with friends. Skeptics (read: “husbands”) might argue and say, “You already have a holiday for being a Mom… It’s called Mother’s Day.”


I would answer them by respectfully pointing out that although we do celebrate being Moms on Mother’s Day, we do so as a family. We go out to brunch with our kids or see a movie (probably a cartoon) with our children. This is all well and good, but nowhere on that day do we get a chance to recharge and reconnect with who we are besides being a Mom. National Mom’s Night Out is an opportunity to have us reclaim a bit

of our pre-motherhood identity. It affords us the chance to take off our sweat pants and strap on some sexy heels and go have a good time. (Perhaps trade in our baby bottles for a wine bottle for at least one night).

Although the third Thursday in March is the official “National Mom’s Night Out”  I am hoping that Moms across the country carve out time for themselves on a more frequent basis. We need to land somewhere near the top of our own “To-Do” lists to ensure we are recharging our spirit. Making time for yourself may seem selfish, but taking care of number one makes it possible for you to take care of the rest of your family more effectively.

So, set the laundry aside and leave money out for your kids to order pizza and call your friends for National Mom’s Night Out next Thursday, March 19th!

*For more details or to submit pictures from your own Mom’s Night Out celebration, visit

7 responses so far

Mar 17 2009

Mandatory Pre-School?

I couldn’t have said it better!!!  Thanks John Stossel and 20/20! 


13 responses so far

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